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the key to better living

Sequential Hermaphroditism

From giant canyon to flowing rivers, enigmatic ancent ruins, volcanoes, strange marine creatures and their behaviours, the ocean is full of unexplained mysteries. It is so close to us and so vital our existence for more than 4 billion years and yet it is still a foreign place to human. Sequential hermaphroditism is definately one of the fascinating facts of the mysterious underwater world...

Sequential hermaphroditism occurs in many fish, gastropoda and plants when the individual changes sex at some stage in its life. The change can either be Potandry or Protogyny OR both.

Potandry is when the individual changes from a Male to Female while Protogyny is when the individual changes from a Female to Male.

Perhaps clownfish is the best example of potandrous marine species that have a very structured and hierarchical society. It is a society where the breading pair is living a a sea anemone and dominance is based on size, the female being the largest and the male being second largest in the group. The remaining of the group are made up of smaller non-breaders that not yet have funtioning gonads.

When the female dies, the male increases its size and changes sex to become the female while the largest non-breading fish in the group sexually matures and becomes the male for the group.

Hmm, imagine our society functions in the same way...

Majority of the sequentially hermaphroditic marine species are protogynous. Wrasses, one of the largest families of coral reef fish, are commonly known as protogynous marine species.

Endemic to east coast of Australia, Eastern Blue Gropers are a type of wrasse known as 'puppy dogs' of the sea to divers in New South Wales. Similar to most other protogynous wrasses, the Eastern Blue Groper changes sex at various stages during its lifespan. The juveniles are all female and as they mature, they pass through a stage in which they can be either male or female. When they are adult reaching their terminal phase, they are all male...

Being a young man, I have great sympathy for the male Eastern Blue Gropers...

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